An important reminder to listen to our children and do whatever it takes to help them
One daughter has a message of gratitude for her mother, for really listening when she was struggling, and for medicating her when she needed it. The post, written by the actress, writer, and YouTube personality Jessica McCabe is a raw and beautiful tribute to her mother, thanking her for all she did for her as a child growing up with ADHD.
McCabe captioned her post and video “What I Want To Say To My Mom, Who Drugged Me,” and it is a powerful message for all parents who may be struggling with the decision to medicate their child. “Thank you. Thank you for listening when I told you I was struggling. Thank you for standing up for me when my dad tried to dismiss what I was dealing with as “normal.” I now understand ADHD is highly genetic and it’s likely he felt that way because he had ADHD himself,” she wrote.
“Thank you for taking me to get a proper evaluation so I understand my brain’s differences and don’t feel like it’s just all my fault,” McCabe went on. “I know you were busy, and yet I never ran out of medication because you took the time to take me to every appointment.”
McCabe is not alone. According to the CDC, ADHD is one of “the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.” The CDC reports that approximately 11% of children between the ages of four to 17 years old (that’s 6.4 million children) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
There continues to be a stigma attached to medicating children for any reason, and ADHD is no exception. But the risks of not treating ADHD can outweigh the potential side effects of medication according to ABC News. In a study of men who terminated treatment, “Men with ADHD were seven times more likely to drop out of school, and made on average $40,000 less per year than their non-ADHD counterparts. They were more than twice as likely to be divorced.”
What’s more, children diagnosed with ADHD between the ages of four and six face “greater risks for depression and suicide at ages nine to 18, and this risk may be more pronounced among girls,” Wed MD reports.
“Thank you for ignoring the people who judged you. I know there were many,” McCabe writes.
Her message is a simple yet necessary reminder how important it is to listen to our children and trust our instincts as parents. “Because of you, I got the treatment I needed, I did better in school, I felt more confident and able to reach my potential,” McCabe explains. “Because of you, I never had to self medicate like so many ADHDers I know. I never sank into depression. I never gave up on myself. I never felt misunderstood. You understood. You believed me.”
Everyone wants to feel like they are being heard, that they have someone on their team – none more so than our children.